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Dan’s Daily: Trouba Elbow, Latest on Guentzel, Penguins Hard Knocks

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PIttsburgh Penguins analysis, NHL trade rumors, and Jacob Trouba flying elbow

The Pittsburgh Penguins are going to the school of hard knocks, while the New York Rangers, who were on the short end of physicality in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final, delivered a Jacob Trouba flying elbow and beat the Florida Panthers in overtime, again. It seems the Carolina Hurricanes have a willing negotiating partner in Jake Guentzel, and reports indicate that the two sides could agree on a new contract quickly. Carolina’s Martin Necas is not only filling the NHL trade rumors for half the league, but his father reports that Necas has requested a trade, too.

I won’t lie. I had only one eye on the New York-Florida Game 3 battle and both eyes on the Indy 500. Perhaps I’m old school or a purist, but auto racing that artificially limits cars in order to create a pack instead of letting the best car drive away irritates me. I don’t need to see 50 lead changes and all of the cars bunched up for 500 miles, but rather, my soul needs to see the best car and driver win. I suppose that is why I’ve watched a lot more F1 than Indy Car in the last 10 years.

It is the same as my need to see the best team win the Stanley Cup. Imagine if the NHL tried to create Game 7s in every series by limiting the best teams. It just seems more American to reward the best rather than give second place an advantage.

I’m off to Saginaw early this morning to cover the Penguins’ top forward prospect, Brayden Yager, in the Memorial Cup. I expect to speak with him again this morning. You can read last weekend’s chat and his growing optimism about his NHL chances behind the PHN+ paywall.

I’m looking forward to seeing him play, and I will provide in-person game analysis tonight and tomorrow. Let’s see how he looks against better competition.

On that note, happy Memorial Day to all and a special remembrance for all those who sacrificed. Thank you.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: A congrats of sorts goes to Team Sweden with Erik Karlsson and Marcus Pettersson, who beat Team Canada for the bronze medal at the World Championships. In the process, the Penguins defensemen were awarded.

Look closely at the last four teams remaining in the conference finals. They share some similar traits and commonalities for building a championship-caliber hockey team. Here are the four big lessons the Penguins can learn.

The accolades and praise tour continues. The IIHF honored Jaromir Jagr.

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now

32 Thoughts: Necas wants out because he feels buried in the Carolina Hurricanes lineup. The Boston Bruins can and will target the top centers on the free-agent market, including Elias Lindholm. That Necas chatter is going to get loud until Carolina allows interim GM Eric Tulsky to make a deal or names him general manager. Here’s Elliotte Friedman’s latest.

The Athletic/New York Times ($): Pierre LeBrun reports that Jake Guentzel and Carolina are eager dance partners. Guentzel wants to re-sign there, and he could get a max-term deal worth about $8 million per season.

Oh, the Rangers fans were doing some heavy mental gymnastics to defend Trouba on this one. The refs initially made no call, then discussed it, awarded a five-minute major, reviewed it, and reduced it to a two-minute minor. Only Monty Python’s Flying Circus was more ridiculous than the Trouba flying elbows.

Rangers fans claimed everyone hates the Rangers, and that’s why Trouba was “accused” of throwing the elbow. Sure, it certainly wasn’t that he actually–you know–threw another flying elbow. Just because he missed doesn’t lessen the intent. He tried to take Evan Rodrigues’s head off. Shame on the refs and NHL for allowing an attempt to injure just because it was unsuccessful.

Florida Hockey Now: To the game, the Florida Panthers rallied from two goals down in the third period, but the Rangers did what they do–score clutch goals. Here are the details as the Rangers beat Florida in OT again.

We can get to the rest of the league…

Montreal Hockey Now: Their rivals have made plenty of mistakes during rebuilds, and this should be a roadmap for pitfalls to avoid for the Montreal Canadiens.

Boston Hockey Now: Mick Colageo goes deep in his story telling and comes out on the other side with a few lessons. First, the Bruins should support Charlie McAvoy with a solid left-side partner. Every team that has eliminated the Bruins in consecutive years (since expansion in 1967) has won the Stanley Cup, including the Penguins (1991, 1992). It’s a winding old-school read and some hockey fun about the Boston Bruins.

Chicago Hockey Now: Speaking of rebuilding and the NHL trade rumors, Chicago GM Kyle Davidson is letting his philosophies on trading first-rounders be known and getting to the future faster. Nate Brown (a rising star on our network and a hidden gem) tells us what happens next with the Chicago Blackhawks.